To honor one of the most legendary names in El Paso basketball history, the UTEP men's basketball program named its multi-team event during Thanksgiving week after Jim Forbes.

The Jim Forbes Classic presented by Speaking Rock will be held from Nov. 23-25 at the Don Haskins Center with CSU Bakersfield, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Alcorn State coming to town. UTEP will face Alcorn State at 7 p.m. on Nov. 22, host CSU Bakersfield on Nov. 23 at 7 p.m., and close the week out against Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. 

A local icon, Forbes spent the better part of four decades in coaching and is one of just three Olympians in the history of the men's basketball program. He passed away earlier this year on Jan. 21.

As a coach, Forbes joined Don Haskins' staff in the early 80s as an assistant before becoming the head coach of Riverside (1984-2004). He helped coach the team to the final four of the Texas State Tournament in 1995. After his successful stint at Riverside, Forbes went to Andress and coached them from 2004 up until his death. He coached teams in 2014 and 2015 that made deep runs in the playoffs.

While he was at UTEP, Forbes totaled 20 double-double games and is in the top-10 in program history for rebounding average. Most notably, Forbes played on the 1972 U.S. men's basketball team that lost in a controversial game against the Soviet Union for the gold medal at the Olympics.

“Jim Forbes has meant so much to UTEP Basketball and the El Paso community, and we are delighted that our MTE will carry his name,” UTEP coach Joe Golding said in a statement. “We look forward to honoring Jim at the tournament, and giving Miner fans three days of great basketball on Thanksgiving week. We would also like to thank Speaking Rock for stepping up to sponsor this tournament, and Hotel Paso del Norte for also playing a huge role in making this a first-class event.” 


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